Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin said in a speech Saturday that President Donald Trump is a “hoax perpetrated on the Americans by the Russians.”
The comment from Raskin came while he spoke at the March for Truth in Washington D.C. Marches were held throughout the country Saturday as protesters called for Congress to establish an independent commission to look into alleged ties between Russia and President Trump.
“Trump says climate change is a hoax perpetrated on the Americans by the Chinese,” Raskin said. “Now if you read the intelligence agency report prepared by 17 of our own intelligence agencies, you know the truth: Donald Trump is the hoax perpetrated on the Americans by the Russians.”
Raskin was incorrect to say this intelligence report was prepared by “17 of our own intelligence agencies,” as it only represented the views of three agencies. (FACT CHECK: Did 17 Intel Agencies ‘All Agree’ Russia Influenced The Presidential Election?)
The Maryland congressman continued to spew falsehoods throughout his speech, such as saying that Russian hackers targeted French president Emmanuel Macron and that longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone “hosted a series on the Russian propaganda network.”
Raskin later said in an interview with journalist Max Blumenthal that “we know [former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Stone] were all on the Russian payroll.”
In response to these claims about him, Stone told The Daily Caller, “Rep. Raskin is a lying cocksucker.”
“I have never been ‘on the Russian payroll’ or had any Russian clients. Nor have I ‘hosted a series on the Russian propaganda network,'” Stone said. “I have appeared on RT twice for which I was interviewed and have never been paid. RT was more accurate and less censored than CNN.”
The longtime Trump confidant added: “The congressman’s claims are baseless, reckless, and irresponsible and the congressman is a brainless asshole.”
The Associated Press has reported that Manafort was paid by a Russian oligarch, but Manafort denied this had to do with representing Russia’s interests. There are also no reports about Page being on the”Russian payroll,” and Raskin’s press secretary did not respond to an inquiry about his claims.
After his speech, Raskin was interviewed by journalist Max Blumenthal and was stumped when asked about his falsehoods. Blumenthal informed him that the French government had determined that Russian-backed hackers weren’t behind an email dump targeting Emmanuel Macron and Raskin deflected by saying he hadn’t seen these reports from days before his speech. The congressman then asked the non sequitur, “Do you support an independent commission?”
Blumenthal also asked Raskin about his statement that Stone hosted a Russian propaganda series, and the congressman replied: “You can go after any details you want, but I don’t see why it would be in your interest to support an autocratic authoritarian government which is jailing journalists and fighting against freedom around the world.”